*Julia Amanda BIGGS. was born on 25 Aug 1856 in Atlanta or McLean, Logan, IL. She died on 9 Aug 1918 in Macon Co., IL.(10) or 19 Aug 1918 She was buried in Hall Cemetary, Blue Mound, Macon, IL. Julia grew up around McLean, Atlanta, Laundale and Lincoln, IL. The only specific record we have of this interim finds her at the age of 16 working as a waitress in a hotel her mother's brother, John Small, conducted in Lincoln. However, from conversations she had with her children, it appears that her early youth was spent in extreme poverty, with almost no opportunity to attend school. She did become an expert seamtress. She aquired a high sense of moral values that enriched her entire life and profoundly influenced the destinies of the children that were her legacy to posterity. (It is said that she practically taught herself to read and write after she was married.)
Amanda's half-sister, Hettie, had married William Henry Myers who served as a Union Soldier in the Civil War. After hostilities were over Myers returned to his trade as a blacksmith. The Christmas season of 1876 finds the Myers family living on a farm owned by Benjamin F. Austin, located four miles northwest of Blue Mound, IL. Myers was working at his trade in a shop adjacent to a brickyard on the northeast corner of the Austin farm.
At this time Amanda was visiting the Myers family. Mr. Austin was a transient or rather an occasional boarder with them. His work as a stock-buyer had prompted him to acquire this tract of land as a depot for the assembling of the stock, mostly hogs, until enough were on hand to justify shipment to market. It is probable that Ben met Amanda a year or two earlier, but their intimate acquaintance during and subsequent to the Christmas season above referred to soon ripened into an affection for each other that was to enrich their lives during nearly half a century to come.
On February 15, 1877 Benjamin Franklin, an erstwhile confirmed bachelor of 37, and lovely, 20 year old Julia Amanda Biggs were united in marriage in the home hallowed by their courtship, and in the room that was to hear the first wails of six of the seven children that were to bless their union, and where for the past 17 years these same children gather once a year, usually on the Saturday evening nearest Memorial Day, to pay homage to the memory of their parents (Nellie died some 10 years ago, and Winnie, the youngest, born in an adjacent room, died in infancy). (probably written by Bessie Henrietta Austin Overmier, daughter of Julia Amanda Biggs)
At the age of 14 she was a railroad agent in East Lincoln Twp. She was listed in the 1870 census in the home of Henry Myers, her brother-in-law. At that time she owned real estate worth $3110 and claimed personal finances of $500.http://boards.rootsweb.com/surnames.biggs/1552/mb.ashx
Would appreciate any information available on her.. thanks!